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Engraving of Lenin busy studying

Economic and Philosophic Science Review

Only he is a Marxist who extends the recognition of the class struggle to the recognition of the dictatorship of the proletariat. This is the touchstone on which the real understanding and recognition of Marxism is to be tested. V. I. Lenin

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No 1365 20th February 2010

Petty bourgeois failure to grasp and explain the history-changing extent of capitalism’s catastrophic economic breakdown into open fascist warring is inevitable consequence of petty bourgeois hostility to revolutionary perspectives and understanding. But the oncoming slump Depression and World War disaster it leads to (already warming up in Iraq, Afghanistan and so forth) demand a revolutionary struggle to change society completely. Leninism is vital.

Just what does it take for the great swamp of pretend “left” parties to finally wake-up to the staggering scale of the Slump collapse disaster and war drive now threatening humanity on the planet?

And more significantly, when will they draw the revolutionary conclusions?

Events are confirming the catastrophic failure of the whole world monopoly capitalist order on a scale never seen before.

Entire countries are being driven to the edge of bankruptcy – Greece, Portugal, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, and much else of East Europe, (not to mention major cities and entire states like Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and even mighty California in the “super-rich” USA) – as well as others suffering for a decade or more in Latin America, south-east Asia and most of all, the permanent “recession” since the early 1990s suffocating the second largest monopoly capitalist power, Japan.

Savage cuts in wages, jobs, pensions and livelihoods are being imposed (or “need” to be imposed) everywhere on the working class by both government action and “private” sector failures (and with hard talk of much worse to come).

Demented, civilian-blitzing war is being turned up in Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, and Pakistan, with new levels of depraved savagery also inflicted repeatedly on the Palestinians in Gaza; scorched earth bleakness is the only reality of life in Mogadishu, parts of Iraq, Afghanistan, Haiti, the Niger delta, etc etc, and starvation levels of poverty in many other places make life little different to war and earthquake.

The escalation into even worse warmongering is constantly threatened by lurid fascist wind-up campaigns against Iran, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Latin America, Cuba, North Korea and Burma among others.

Revelations of Nazi torture practices, political kidnap (rendition), deathsquad secret assassination (Zionists in Dubai, British SAS in Iraq and Afghanistan) and abuse by the most “advanced” Western countries, pour out in even the capitalist press and even from a conservative but disquieted judiciary; and the surveillance and police harassment of domestic populations is already far beyond any supposed “totalitarianism” fantasies about communism, such as the lurid anti-communist fictions from colonialist policeman and MI5 informer-fink George Orwell, or equally made-up follow-ons from the likes of smug middle-class author Martin Amis etc, or endless Hollywood and TV mock-ups of the alleged “horrors of communism” complete with the full range of manipulative techniques from doomy music and breathy voice-overs to acted-out scenes of “repression” (which are all based, in their substance, on real repression and experiences from capitalism itself and its non-stop world tyranny).

All this is run by Western “democracy” including, or nowadays mainly, the allegedly “liberal” or even “workers” parties – New Labourites in Britain, the Pasok “socialists” in Greece imposing draconian wage and condition cuts, the Spanish social democrats, and most sickeningly and hoodwinkingly of all, the right-on, politically-correct, morally-righteous, “anti-racism”, black presidency of Barack Obama.

The hostility to capitalist tyranny which has the entire Third World in hate-filled ferment (falsely labelled “terrorism” or the “clash of civilisations” by Washington-dominated imperialism) is now spreading into the heartlands of the richest nations.

“Widespread social unrest” is routinely predicted for Europe and increasingly the States, fears expressed in article after article in the capitalist press, as the economic crisis unrolls and draconian slump measures are lined up.

These events, already erupting here and there in street riots in Athens or Paris, demonstrations on Wall Street and growing strike pressure, are the raw material of growing revolutionary upheaval.

Whatever temporary respite the West might achieve with its insane dollar printing, there is no other way out of this crisis other than total ending of capitalism.

The world will unstoppably ripen into full revolutionary crisis.

But these spontaneous upheavals lack the crucial element, a revolutionary cadre party trained and practised in Marxist understanding to be able to guide the working class and give it direction and coherence as the crisis unrolls, making conscious the revolutionary nature of the processes unfolding, to tread the correct strategic, tactical path and to inspire knowledge and confidence in the strength of the proletariat, which is the future of humanity.

Instead the world continues to be swamped by the inanities of Stalinist revisionism and its “struggle for peace” fatuous and opportunist avoidance of revolution, or even “parliamentary road” delusions, and by the sour anti-communism of the Trotskyite “perfect revolution” armchair fantasists, who in practice only ever support counter-revolutionary stunts set up by Western intelligence (like the CIA/Vatican-backed Polish Solidarnosc, Tibetan feudal Dalai Lama backwardness (which Obama is punting too), Burmese “saffron” priest reactionaries or, currently, the new wind-ups against Zimbabwe’s Mugabe and around the Iranian “green democracy movement” CIA-stunts and arrogant Washington outside interference.

There is plenty of bewailing the endless sell-outs and opportunism of “official” Labourism and Trade Unionism, and the ineffectualness (read opportunism) of reformism by liberal intellectuals and fake-“left” alike.

But still the great majority of the 57 varieties of the swamp fake-”lefts” call for “a vote for Labour” in the next meaningless General Election (which the working class increasingly despises and ignores, with good cause), to “keep out the Tories”!!!

What difference would that make???

Even as the world crisis unravels ever faster they are busy propping up the “democracy” racket in other words.

They help keep going the same parliamentary lies (and “official” Trade Unionist) reformist “pressure” which has fooled the working class for 150 years, just at the moment when capitalism is more exposed than ever, and the historic opportunity for the working class to finally get the hampering oppression of bourgeois dictatorship off its back forever, has never been better.

In other words they help keep going the same capitalism which has brought the world to the edge of meltdown disaster.

Could soft-brained idiocy and/or rank opportunism get much more rancid??

Just wait and see.

Far from waking up to the depths of the crisis and its revolutionary implications the “left” Labourites, “firebrand” militant TUC-ers and layers of “left” radical props, still give the working class no sense at all of the history-shattering implications of the onrushing economic failure which is hurtling the entire centuries-old private profit system towards the abyss, paralysed by its rotten contradictions.

The spiralling collapse of the world trading system is declared to be a “recession” or temporary downturn to be “resisted” by workers who should “make the bosses pay” by using a few strikes or demonstrations (which, as always, are mostly headed-off, isolated, misjudged and defused by class collaborating TUC leaders, like the Post Office pre-Christmas strike (its best moment), the BAA cabin crews’ holiday strike (the most effective moment) and others.

The dramatic events of war and blitzkrieging, wound up by Washington’s “shock and awe” world intimidation for the last decade, meanwhile are described completely separately as just a “war for oil” perhaps, or extensions of “capitalist greed”, each event from the monstrous blitzing of Yugoslavia (Serbia) to the Somalian piracy, analysed on its own and without any grasp of the connections between them as part of an unfolding total world crisis of trade-war Depression and oncoming World War.

Facets of these episodic, fragmented, single-issue analyses from the “lefts” may have some validity, for example in that the battle for resources is a small element of the inter-imperialist trade and currency rivalries and part of the strategy by Washington in particular to ride out the world crisis by threatening and bullying the whole planet (though they can equally be utterly wrong, in their assessments of Islamicist rebellion and “terrorism” for example, which they all “condemn”, joining in with Washington-led demonisation of the Third World revolt for example, and its “war on terror” hysteria).

But they only ever touch a tiny aspect of an unravelling of an entire class economic and political system which long ago outlived its usefulness for human development and now offers only deadly chaos and destruction.

The EPSR alone has insisted that only such an overall revolutionary perspective can provide the leadership and consciousness required to draw together understanding of all these events.

The central emphasis should be the sudden and cataclysmic failure of capitalism in every conflict that workers are drawn into.

It was not for nothing that the great revolutionary Karl Marx turned his attention to the economic workings of capitalism, in the great 30 years of intensive study and battling to write the three volumes of Capital (and as much again in preparatory notes for more).

This was no academic obsession but the grasp of a profound revolutionary socialist who understood that the economic working of society (which hides class and social relationships of exploitation) was the key to the unfolding of history and most of all its revolutionary nature, driven by the contradictions of human production.

Material reality makes socialism a vital necessity for humanity, rather than a “nice idea” or settling of accounts eventually with injustice and unfairness.

Material reality will dictate its arrival, not the wishes and will of well meaning people or rational thinkers.

It is the unsustainable material contradictions of the monopoly capitalist period which have already driven the world into the most barbaric destruction and chaos in all of human history, the titanic 1914 Great War and the its even more destructive extension (part two effectively) two decades later in the Second World War.

These same giant material forces also drove forwards the opposite development, the explosion of revolutionary upheaval against this turmoil by a desperate proletariat (and peasantry) with literally “nothing to lose” (especially three years into the First World War’s industrial slaughter) which led to the historic upheaval, turning over the reactionary and degenerate Tsarist autocracy in Russia, and then the follow-on Bolshevik revolution which spread around half the planet in communist and anti-imperialist upheaval over the next decades, and especially after 1945.

It was driven by crisis and war exactly as Marx predicted, not “sinister subversion”.

Alone the EPSR fought since its inception just over 30 years ago, to put the impending crisis and catastrophic economic failure at the heart of all struggles; to show that nothing could be understood or explained without beginning with this perspective, from the widest-spanning global wars to the smallest workers fight to survive in the cuts savagery now to be imposed.

Its reward has been relentless middle-class “left” derision and hostility, or smug, complacent, dismissal by revisionists as “old hat” or a “tiny minority viewpoint that is no longer relevant” or “too small to pay attention to” (conveniently ignored by those drawn into polemics and argument they then cannot deal with (because they are wrong), while a long legacy of mistakes and failure by Stalinism are brushed under the carpet in order to continue some Museum-pretence of being “hard men”).

At its worst this opportunist suppression has resorted to ejection from meetings, or the overriding of attempted contribution and argument by petty bourgeois “left” and trade union chairmen as “irrelevant”, while they get on with “what can be done now rather than fanciful Utopian notions”.

The EPSR was even instructed by the supposed “left” Labour breakaway of Scargill’s Socialist Labour Party, to suppress such understanding altogether when it started winning support, in the brief, early, open discussion period of that party, on pain of expulsion (if written discussion in the EPSR paper was not abandoned), a monstrous act of censorship which demonstrated that the SLP was nothing under the surface but old-style Trade Union class collaborating reformist bureaucracy and anti-communism.

But alone the EPSR is being proven 100% correct to insist on this grasp as the new wave of potential sovereign debt defaults is further demonstrating.

That is nothing to do with “told you so” smugness; if anything the EPSR is more aware than any of the shortcomings and limits of the Leninist politics and theory that can be produced by tiny resources and a tiny supporters group.

But it is everything to do with proving that the science of Marxism is the only basis for human consciousness, rationality and progress.

Against wooden Popperian and deliberately anti-communist notions that “Marxism is not science” (by rigid petty bourgeois science philosophy which cannot grasp dialectical development), it is shown now that Marxist-Leninist philosophy is the only one to predict the meltdown.

The warmongering since Serbia and the economic meltdown of Autumn 2008 are stunning proof of its (cynically dismissed) warnings of imminent economic disaster.

The blue-funk panic of the ruling class 18 months ago when the euphemistically named “credit crunch” broke into the open and a near freefall disintegration of the banking system started to unravel, confirmed totally the Marxist insistence that capitalism is not only as unstable as ever, repeatedly taking the world into desperate Slump collapse, but doing so on an unprecedented scale.

The temporary “stability” since produced by massive dollar printing does not change that understanding at all, however long its effects persist: firstly, the collapse happened, which is only explicable by Marxist understanding of crisis. As every bourgeois commentary said at the time and since, the world finance system was hours away from total chaos and implosion,

Secondly, it is anyway continuing to unravel apace.

Nothing has been solved at all. Whatever way events unfold in detail – in savage poverty measures forced onto Greek, Portuguese, Spanish and Irish workers at first (and always onto the Third World masses non-stop), in more domino bank and finance failure, currency meltdown, national sovereign debt default or raging inflation, – the historic breakdown of the capitalist economic system drives everything towards destruction and is completely unstoppable by protest, pacifism, and pressure.

For all their pretended Marxism none of the fake-“left” can see what is in front of their noses.

There was a sudden flurry of articles about the economic “difficulties” at the height of the bank implosion, as the “lefts” scrabbled to cover their backs because the finance disasters had exposed their decades of smugness and anti-Marxism.

But in the past year the turgid articles and long-winded academic discussions rushing to “explain” Marxism and capitalist failure, have almost dried up again, or are relegated to the back of the papers; just a few months after the crisis broke into the open it has been more or less business as usual for the old reformism and all the “revolutionaries”.

There may a little more edge perhaps or a protest meeting here, a call for “defensive” class strike action there, more demands to “Stop the War” and “Bring the troops home”.

But none of them really believe that capitalism is hitting the buffers.

Debates in some left papers (e.g. Weekly Worker) have even disputed whether there is an actual crisis at all, that capitalism is simply changing gear for a massive further expansion and powerful rise!!

Others sneer that such crisis analysis is just foolish “catastrophism” (Workers Power).

Or the deep running defeatism and pessimism of the “left” finds a new form in telling the working class that the crisis is “not good for the working class struggle” (CPGB’s WW again and the SWP for example) and that it needs to “wait for the upturn” when, allegedly, workers’ confidence will return and revive capacity to wage struggles for “better conditions”.

But Marxist understanding is precisely that the failure of capitalism, and the collapse of its centuries of exploitative class rule into war chaos, is what powers the revolutionary process and intensifies the dialectical contradictions in society to breaking point.

Making the bosses and politicians “see reason” or forcing it upon them through workers’ action or extra-parliamentary pressure to achieve “real democracy”, or by “imposing pacifism by militant resistance to war” is the endless refrain of the even the “hardest” Stalinist remnants.

It has always been a disarming fraud for the working class, even in the richest of countries and in the best of “boom” times, when it delivered a few crumbs of benefits to a few better off workers while the inequalities and iniquities of life remained constant for the great mass and for the whole of the relentlessly exploited Third World.

Worse still, it completely fooled the working class with the notion that they were “moving forwards”.

That could only ever be the most temporary of gains, and that only for a tiny minority of the world’s workers, the better-off layers of the working class in only those few countries which could syphon up the greater part of the planet’s resources and labour output, such as America, the western Europeans, Japan and scattered others like Australia.

But it was always a total nonsense leading the working class up the garden path as capitalism itself admits:

A detailed and startling analysis of how unequal Britain has become offers a snapshot of an increasingly divided nation where the richest 10% of the population are more than 100 times as wealthy as the poorest 10% of society

The report, An Anatomy of Economic Inequality in the UK, scrutinises the degree to which the country has become more unequal over the past 30 years. Much of it will make uncomfortable reading for the Labour government, although the paper indicates that considerable responsibility lies with the Tories, who presided over the dramatic divisions of the 1980s and early 1990s.

Researchers analyse inequality according to a number of measures; one indicates that by 2007-8 Britain had reached the highest level of income inequality since soon after the second world war.

The new findings show that the household wealth of the top 10% of the population stands at £853,000 and more – over 100 times higher than the wealth of the poorest 10%, which is £8,800 or below (a sum including cars and other possessions).

When the highest-paid workers, such as bankers and chief executives, are put into the equation, the division in wealth is even more stark, with individuals in the top 1% of the population each possessing total household wealth of £2.6m or more.

..It concludes that the government has failed to plug the gulf that existed between the poorest and richest in society in the 1980s. “Over the most recent decade, earnings inequality has narrowed a little and income inequality has stabilised on some measures, but the large inequality growth of the 1980s has not been reversed,” it states.

The panel found “systematic differences in equality panel economic outcomes” remained between social groups, and said many would find the “sheer scale of inequalities” in outcomes “shocking”.

Inequality in earnings and income is high in Britain compared with other industrialised countries, the report states.

A central theme of the report is the profound, lifelong negative impact that being born poor, and into a disadvantaged social class, has on a child. These inequalities accumulate over the life cycle, the report concludes. Social class has a big impact on children’s school readiness at the age of three, but continues to drag children back through school and beyond.

“The evidence we have looked at shows the long arm of people’s origins in shaping their life chances, stretching through life stages, literally from cradle to grave. Differences in wealth in particular are associated with opportunities such as the ability to buy houses in the catchment areas of the best schools or to afford private education, with advantages for children that continue through and beyond education. At the other end of life, wealth levels are associated with stark differences in life expectancy after 50,” the report states.

It echoes other recent research suggesting that social mobility has stagnated, and concludes that “people’s occupational and economic destinations in early adulthood depend to an important degree on their origins”. Achieving the “equality of opportunity” that all political parties aspire to is very hard when there are such wide differences between the resources that people have to help them fulfil their diverse potentials, the panel notes.

Researchers analysed the total wealth accrued by households over a lifetime. The top 10%, led by higher professionals, had amassed wealth of £2.2m, including property and pension assets, by the time they drew close to retirement (aged 55-64), while the bottom 10% of households, led by routine manual workers, had amassed less than £8,000.

Harman acknowledged in the report that the “persistent inequality of social class” was a large factor in perpetuating disadvantage, adding that the government would begin to address this with the new legal duty placed on public bodies to address socio-economic inequality, included in the equality bill.

The report follows research published by Save the Children which revealed that 13% of the UK’s children were now living in severe poverty, and that efforts to reduce child poverty had been stalling even before the recession began in 2008.

And even this report is part of the bourgeois democratic pretence, commissioned by New Labour to beat itself up with, and promise “better in the future”.

More jam tomorrow in other words and fantasies today.

Capitalism will only ever be changed by being ended completely.

That demands a revolutionary upheaval to utterly overturn its brutal and tyrannical rule, imposing a new form of society not by “proper democratic control” of corporations and production, the limp conclusion to the otherwise excellent and damning new “Capitalism - a love affair” film made by the Michael Moore, but by the dictatorship rule of the majority (the proletariat).

Nothing else will ensure the wealthy and privileged minority of parasitical exploiters do not immediately get back up and re-establish their thuggish and fascist domination.

And such inequalities are only part of the story: the antagonistic contradictions of the private profit system mean that everything must eventually go backwards.

No other outcome but barbaric breakdown and war is possible within the capitalist framework, however long the evil day is put off.

Credit creation (post-war US dollar printing or crisis-panic “quantitative easing”), simply makes matters worse.

And anyway what “upturn”???

The fake-“lefts” have been totally bemused by the trickery of the ruling class which has bent every sinew to pretending that it is still “business as usual” despite the astonishing rot revealed at the heart of the profit-system.

Once the bourgeoisie had bailed out its own, the bankers and stock exchange financiers, and recovered its composure it got straight back to the old game of fooling the working class.

The parliamentary racket slanging match blaming one side or other for the “downturn” keeps all the arguments within strict limits, constantly pretending that “bad policies” have “worsened the recession” or are “delaying the recovery” (since slump closures and unemployment are undeniable).

That does reflect the real uncertainties of a ruling class which is only just keeping itself under control and floundering badly in the face of an unsolvable crisis.

But under no circumstances does the ruling class want to let it be known that its great “free market” system has failed utterly and there is no way out except a run into international bitterness, conflict and ultimately war between the great market rivals, if capitalism continues, or else revolution and upheaval.

The great pretence of the last decades in the credit-soaked West has been that capitalism means prosperity, glitz, fashion, “fun” and pop culture in an endless round of shallow consumerism and thoughtless celebrity chasing, which makes all serious thought and discussion of socialism so “last century”.

It was the “end of history” and steady climb to golden uplands of prosperity and peace with the “threat of communism” ended.

But it stops instantly if the old Depression realities hit home.

And they cannot be hidden completely despite the foolery. The crisis, and petty bourgeois fears about it, constantly resurface in the capitalist press, particularly now the implosion moves from “mere” international bank failure to the potential collapse of entire countries and currencies, the dollar, the euro, and others. A few samples:

In an unusually ill-tempered confrontation, members of Congress from both parties rounded on [US treasury secretary Timothy] Geithner over a decision to use taxpayers’ money to pay out the full $62bn (£38bn) owed by bank insurer AIG to banks such as Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, Barclays and RBS. Geithner described the AIG bailout, which cost a total of $182bn, as a “tragic choice” at the height of the global financial crisis in September 2008 but said that at the time, there was a risk of “utter collapse” of the US economy.

“For the first time in 80 years, the United States risked a complete collapse of our financial system,” said Geithner. “Americans were starting to question the safety of their money in the nation’s banks, and a growing sense of panic was producing the classic signs of a generalised run.”

Several members of the House oversight committee demanded Geithner’s resignation, accusing him of selling US taxpayers short by failing to force AIG’s counterparties to take “haircuts”.

...The committee’s chairman, Edolphus Towns, a fellow Democrat, blasted the government’s handling of AIG: “Taxpayers were propping up the hollow shell of AIG by stuffing it with money, and the rest of Wall Street looted the corpse.”

At the time of the bail-out, Geithner was chairman of the New York Federal Reserve, which played a key role in rescuing AIG. He said the alternative to refunding AIG’s counterparties would have been bankruptcy of AIG, causing an evaporation of confidence leading to “millions more job losses”, factory closures and a possible economic “catastrophe”.

And he denied being part of a “cover-up” in which the government initially hid the identity of the banks receiving AIG funds, saying he withdrew from participating in decisions from late 2008 in preparation for taking office in the Obama administration.

...During the hearing, Geithner was pressed over his views on Wall Street pay. He described the growth of bankers’ bonuses at the height of the boom as a “terrible catastrophe”.

“It came amid a wave of a huge increase in income inequality in the US over decades,” said Geithner. “In the financial industry, it was much worse.”

One of the few sympathetic voices came from a Democratic congressman, Paul Kanjorski, who asked: “Am I correct that there were discussions held at the highest echelons of the United States government and the Congress as to whether or not law and order could be secured in the US if we did not take precipitous action to assure people that the economic markets of the US and world could be held secure?”

Geithner replied: “It wouldn’t surprise me. This was the gravest crisis we’ve seen since the Great Depression. It was not going to solve itself.”

Much graver in fact, as plenty of other statistics have shown and commentaries from the bourgeois economists, as is inevitable since, firstly, the extent and penetration of capitalist exploitation is far greater than it has ever been, and because the “natural” unfolding of the crisis has been deferred over and over again by constant dollar printing for most of the post-War period.

The latest “quantitative easing” swamps even that.

But still the leaks keep springing in the dyke face:

Spain’s government will seek to reassure investors over the country’s rising debts today, in a bid to calm the turmoil in financial markets that has seen a heavy sell-off in Spanish shares continue for a second day.

As stock markets continue to fall around the world on fears over European deficits, Spanish economy minister Elena Salgado will reiterate that the government is focused on cutting the budget deficit to 3% of gross domestic product by 2013, from more than 11% now, her deputy, economy secretary José Manuel Campa, told

“Spain is in a solid position and we’ve had low deficits for 10 years – the deficit has grown now but we will be cutting it,” said Campa.

The wave of investor anxiety throughout global markets over the last 24 hours has hit Spain particularly hard. Campa was speaking as the Ibex index of Madrid’s most traded stocks plunged for a second day and the cost of protecting investors against a default of Spanish debt reached a record high.

Campa said Spain cannot be compared to Greece, whose debt levels are bigger than its own economy, whereas in Spain they are about half – although forecast to grow to 75% of GDP. Comparing the two countries is like comparing Real Madrid to Alcoyano (a lower division team), Banco Santander’s chairman, Emilio Botín, said yesterday.

“Our economy is also much bigger [than Greece], more diversified and, with all the investments that we’ve made for years, it’s more competitive,” Campa said.

Despite European officials’ attempts at reassurance, stock indices fell sharply in Europe this morning. The FTSE 100 was down more than 1.5% at 5062 by lunchtime, while Spain lost more than 2%, following yesterday’s 6% plunge. Banco Santander lost 3.5% in early trade, extending yesterday’s 9% drop.

In currency markets, the euro hit its weakest level against the dollar in more than eight months as fears persisted among investors over rising government deficits in southern Europe.

“They are looking for the next Greece,” said Gary Jenkins, a credit analyst at Evolution Securities. “When it comes to panic, the markets sell first and raise questions later.”

Concerned about Greece’s ability to pay its debts, investors are looking for other countries that might be in a similar position...”To think that things are OK just because politicians say they are OK, it’s laughable,” he said. “This is extremely serious – the politicians need to do something to stop this domino effect. If things get worse, the whole of the EU could implode.”

A growth figure of 0.1% is about as pathetic as it gets.

Yet again the City has proved over-optimistic. The average forecast was for expansion of 0.4%, after a third quarter contraction of 0.2% and five quarters of slump before that. That took a total of about 6% off national output and leaves us about 10% shy of where gross domestic product would have been were it not for the worst slump since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

The breakdown of the figures, which is very thin at this preliminary estimate stage, showed that industrial output expanded by only 0.1% on the quarter. That was not a huge surprise but what wrong-footed analysts was an expectation that the dominant services sector would show a robust performance. In the end, though, it only managed 0.1% growth as well.

...It might be safer to wait for a positive first quarter figure to declare this one definitely over.

The question is, though, where do we go from here? The answer is, hopefully, upwards. But in truth the recovery could be a slow, protracted affair. The consumer is still weighed down by debt, and unemployment, though seemingly topping out, is still very high. Household finances are also going to get squeezed by a fiscal tightening that will begin some time after the general election.

Remember, too, that the banking system remains extremely fragile and banks largely unwilling to lend. The conditions don’t look to be in place for the sort of V-shaped rebound that the economy has seen in the past after recessions.

The City had started to talk about QE stopping next month. More likely, it could be extended. We are not out of this mess yet.

To consider just how feeble Britain’s recovery has been, consider the following. The international backdrop – as the International Monetary Fund reported – is getting slightly better. Helped by the strength of Asia and a stronger than expected second half of 2009 in the US, the IMF believes the global economy will expand by almost 4% this year.

Given that the pound is 20% down on its pre-crash levels, Britain should be in prime position for export-led growth. It isn’t happening.

Then there’s the fact that bank rate is barely above zero, the budget deficit is at a peacetime record, and the Bank of England has created £200bn of new electronic money.

Finally, there were some special factors that should have boosted activity in the final quarter of 2009 – the bangers for cash scheme to trade in old cars and the end of year increase in VAT back to 17.5%.

Both will have had the result of bringing forward consumption from early 2010 into late 2009: without the twin boost, it is conceivable that Britain would have had a seventh quarter of decline.

The figures, of course, may be revised up. The City, which again was expecting a stronger performance, certainly expects that to happen, and there is certainly a glaring disparity between today’s data and what economic surveys have been saying. The fact that unemployment is edging lower also sits oddly with the weakness of activity.

Not that this will come as much comfort to the government. Revisions to the GDP figures never get as much prominence as the first estimate – unless of course they are revised down. There is a chance that this could happen: the full impact of the exceptionally cold weather in December will only show up as more data rolls in over the next couple of months.

But the rest of the world is not actually doing any better:

The eurozone’s economic recovery almost ground to a halt in the final quarter of last year, with France the only one of the currency area’s four big economies to post any growth.

The 16-country eurozone grew just 0.1% in the last three months of 2009, official figures showed today. The figures sparked concern that Europe could slip back into recession as government stimulus measures such as car scrappage schemes peter out.

Germany, the continent’s industrial powerhouse, saw its economy unexpectedly slump back as an improvement in exports failed to offset weak consumer spending and investment. The economy did not grow at all between October and December from the previous quarter. Economists had expected a modest gain of 0.3%.

“We no longer have a slump, but rather a very weak recovery,” said Gerd Hassel, economist at BHF Bank. “The first quarter will probably turn out weak too as the record-breaking cold weather, which is a burden to construction in particular, has been dragging on for a long time.”

While France saw growth of 0.6%, supported by healthy consumer spending, the other large economies, Italy and Spain, contracted by 0.2% and 0.1% respectively. Italy went into reverse after coming out of recession.

Recession continued in Ireland, Greece and Cyprus, while Portugal stagnated, although Austria and the Netherlands expanded.

“The recovery in the euro area is a long way off from being self-sustained. Growth so far has largely relied on temporary effects from fiscal stimuli, trade and re-stocking,” said Jorg Radeke at the Centre for Economic and Business Research. “Given the state of the public finances across many euro member states, fiscal tightening may be too early in many of those countries struggling to maintain growth.”

The figures come after a tumultuous few weeks for the euro, which has been hammered by deepening worries surrounding Greece’s debt problems.

The German economy, which relies heavily on exports, received a boost from foreign trade at the end of last year as exports rose, while imports were down. But consumption and investment both declined.

Citigroup economist Jürgen Michels said: “The data are disappointing and the lower starting point for 2010 suggests that our forecast of GDP growth of 1.8% for this year is probably too high. However, an upward revision of the fourth-quarter data looks very likely.”

Germany and France both emerged from recession last summer – earlier than expected. Germany grew by 0.4% in the second quarter of last year and by 0.7% in the third quarter.

On Tuesday, the International Monetary Fund forecast growth in Germany of 1.5% this year, slightly higher than the government’s prediction of 1.4%.

Such limited and temporary “success” as there is, in staving off complete disaster, comes at the cost of heavily squeezing the smaller economies around the edge of imperialism, deliberately through powerful currency and bank manipulations, tariffs and trade controls and indirectly through the “scent of blood” shark-like profiteering anarchy of the markets and various speculation funds going for the kill, and more slowly through the high price in loans made to “risky” countries.

Over 20 or 30 years the crisis has been gathering pace but has been pushed outwards initially by ruthlessly plundering Africa and other poorest sections of the Third World, then forcing crisis onto Latin America (at devastating cost to Mexico, Argentina, and smaller states seeing credit and economy collapses, IMF “austerity” etc, which wipe out tens of thousands of livelihoods (small wonder Mexico has been tipped into a dog-eat-dog maelstrom of drug-running criminality and gangster crime)); onto the “Tiger” economies of south-East Asia in the late 1990s currency collapse, and especially onto major imperialist rival to Washington, Japan.

In one sense this is nothing new, being all part of the aggressive and vicious struggle for markets that is the essence of capitalism; hardly “free” competition, but larded with complex market and finance skulduggery and manipulation as Lenin, Bukharin and others described at the beginning of the monopoly capitalist era (e.g. in Imperialism - the highest stage of capitalism ).

But it has also been the strategy of post-war US imperialist dominance to pacify the world with the indirect “neo”-colonialism of stooge regimes, installed by every dirty CIA trick in the book, of coups, assassinations, stunted-up “democracy” movements, subsidised tinpot gangsterism and fascist takeovers (e.g. Papa Doc and Baby Doc in Haiti, General Pinochet in Chile, Mobutu in the Congo, Mubarak in Egypt etc etc among many) and funded with endless dollar printing to keep them sweet for untrammelled Western exploitation.

Wherever possible the aim has been to keep the lid on upheaval and rebellion by pouring in the printed dollars to prop up the foulest and most oppressive regimes, bribing the petty bourgeoisie and suppressing working class struggle by massacres, death squads, disruption and terror.

Or pouring in the printed Euros alternatively: equally the bigger rival capitalist powers have been using credit and their own profit funds to build their own blocs, capable (they want to believe) of challenging the overwhelming market and military dominance of US imperialism, most notably Europe where the potential revolutionary fringes in smaller or less developed countries have been drawn under the wing of French and leading German imperialism, using European funds to subsidise development and feed the “democracy” illusion.

Portugal, Spain and Greece all have past revolutionary form for example, directly or indirectly in the sense of needing the most overt dictatorship fascist suppression to hold them down, (Franco. Salazar, the Greek junta etc) and the former Soviet bloc Eastern European countries equally so. So too Ireland, with a long anti-imperialist struggle against Britain. partially completed in the 1920s and doggedly fought by Sinn Féin/IRA in the remaining occupied zone (OZ) of “Northern Ireland” post-war to a victorious conclusion, now unfolding the snail’s-pace reunification that sour, sulky British imperialism is begrudgingly conceding (even if there is a way to go yet in formalities).

All have been given special treatment and lavish “development funds” through Brussels to not only keep them in the capitalist orbit but to make them part of a European market which can take on the powerful US, in the bourgeoisie’s scheming.

So how does throwing them to the wolves and insisting they pay savagely as the crisis bites deeper, help this strategy??.

It does not.

It reflects the agonising contradictions of an unrolling collapse, and the aggressive instincts of the capitalist competitors to tear at each others' throats for survival, tearing apart their own strategies, as they head for all out World War.

Worse, it will teach huge lessons to the working class right into the heart of Europe, about the always returning realities of capitalist rule and exploitation.

Only the delusions and misleadership of the fake-“left” now stand in the way of the working class as they must unavoidably be driven by cuts, Depression and unemployment, into increasingly bitter struggle, merging into the great worldwide upheavals which are erupting throughout the Middle East against the long tyranny of capital.

But their complacency and middle class cynicism is taking a hammering, most of all its illusions in “pushing parliament left” or “forcing Labour to act for the working class” or “stopping war by mass protest and pacifist action” “if only we can organise the whole working class to stop prevent weapons deliveries” etc etc. which is what now passes for “leftism” and “revolutionary” boldness, in a swamp of smugness and opportunism which has displaced all serious Marxist analysis and theoretical polemic and debate.

Tragically it has been helped there by the weakness of Stalinist revisionism which gradually let go of the revolutionary core of Lenin’s staggering understanding and leadership over the isolated and besieged decades of the Soviet Union, slipping into the notion that there were two kinds of imperialism, Nazi and “non-aggressive” (those that were not taking the lead temporarily in the more theatrical aspects of the 1930s slump and war build-up particularly).

None of this grasps the unceasingly uncompromising nature of all capitalism as one of ruthless class rule, a dictatorship which is prepared, as necessary, to be as violent, bloody, terrorising and vicious as any tyrannies throughout history, and which is so on a daily basis throughout the Third World, both in taking the colonies in the first place and ruling them, with a bloody history of massacres, pogroms, reprisals and repressions – including the near genocides of many peoples from the Spanish slaughter of assorted central American civilisations to the Anglo-Saxon deliberate massacres of “Red” Indians, the Zulus, the savagery against the actual Indians in India, the decimation of the Maoris and Aborigines etc etc – to the “modern” Latin American death squads, anti-communist pogroms (one million in Indonesia e.g.) and outright blitz war, most notably Vietnam and Korea.

Only the Western super-rich countries have ever hidden this reality behind a pretence of “justice” and “rights”, and other token gestures towards “democracy” and “rights” and the capacity for “ordinary people to have a say” which is an early basic demand of rising mass discontent with the old exploitation and class domination.

Only on the back of the vast super-profits extracted from the colonies could the necessary small concessions be made to give some notional verisimilitude to the game of Parliamentary representation and “rule of law”.

No basic challenge to the actual big decision making ever gets through of course.

But in the desperation of the oncoming crisis and the knowledge of the savage effects of economic failure on the way, the ruling class has been showing more and more of its true face, most of all bound up in the warmongering internationally.

Domestically the constant escalation of brutal police harassment of marches, protest and demonstrations, the intensification of surveillance and monitoring, is not a “slippery path towards fascism” as some of the fake-“left” describe it, but the actual constant face of capitalist rule being shown in the raw because conditions are beginning to demand it.

The reality of the crisis catastrophe is revealing more and more of the warmongering face of capitalism with the latest revelations about SAS assassination in Iraq to “take out” the resistance; activity which amounts, like the recent Zionist Mossad raid in Dubai, to pure death squad action.

Or in the constant drip of information finding its way even into the bourgeois press about torture practices, blatantly covered up and lied about by the ruling class and its degenerate Labourite stooges:

United Nations human rights investigators have concluded that the British government has been complicit in the mistreatment and possible torture of several of its own citizens during the “war on terror”.

In a report published today that will make difficult reading for ministers who repeatedly denied the UK’s involvement in torture, UN officials have indicated that there is clear evidence of the UK’s role in the secret detention overseas of several British Muslims.

The officials say that such secret imprisonment – or “proxy detentions” – not only facilitates torture, but may amount to torture in its own right. In one starkly worded passage, they warn that if a state’s use of proxy detention had been systematic or widespread it would amount to a “crime against humanity”.

There was no immediate comment from the British government.

The 226-page UN report follows the publication two months ago of a dossier entitled Cruel Britannia, from the New York-based NGO Human Rights Watch, whose researchers interviewed several Pakistani intelligence agents who alleged that they had tortured British terrorism suspects on behalf of their UK counterparts. It also follows a series of disclosures in the Guardian about the role played by officers of MI5, MI6 and Greater Manchester police in the detention and questioning under torture of terrorism suspects held in Pakistan and elsewhere.

The UN investigation into torture and rendition across the globe since 9/11 lasted several years and was led by Martin Scheinin, UN special rapporteur on terrorism and human rights, and Manfred Nowak, special rapporteur on torture. In a move that will do little to ease the discomfort of western governments that were the focus of the investigation, the two men and their aides were assisted by members of a UN working party on secret detentions that was first set up in 1979 to investigate the fate of people who were “disappeared” by the Pinochet regime in Chile.

Their report concludes that secret detention “amounts to a case of enforced disappearance” and that it is “a manifold human rights violation that cannot be justified under any circumstances, including during states of emergency”.

Listing those cases in which they conclude that a state has been complicit in a secret detention, the authors highlight “the United Kingdom in the cases of several individuals, including Binyam Mohamed, Salahuddin Amin, Zeeshan Siddiqui, Rangzieb Ahmed and Rashid Rauf”.

Ahmed, 34, from Rochdale, Greater Manchester, was detained in Pakistan in 2006. MPs have heard that after evidence of his terrorist offences had been gathered he was allowed to fly from Manchester to Islamabad, and that MI6 then suggested to a notorious Pakistani intelligence agency that its officers should detain him as he was a dangerous terrorist.

After MI5 and Greater Manchester police drew up a list of questions to be put to Ahmed, the Pakistani agents who were questioning him ripped out a number of his fingernails. Ahmed alleges he was also beaten, whipped and deprived of sleep. He was later deported to the UK, tried and convicted of terrorism offences and is now serving a life sentence at Full Sutton prison near York.

Salahuddin Amin, 35, from Luton, Bedfordshire, was deported to the UK in February 2005 after spending 10 months in the custody of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI). The UK courts have heard that he was questioned 11 times by MI5 officers, and Amin says he was tortured before each session. Human Rights Watch says it has spoken to Pakistani intelligence officers who broadly corroborate his account. Amin was also tried and convicted and is serving a life sentence at Whitemoor prison in Cambridgeshire.

The British government is attempting to block the disclosure of classified US documents about Binyam Mohamed, leading to speculation that they contain evidence that senior figures in Tony Blair’s administration had some knowledge of Mohamed’s torture in Pakistan in 2002.

The formality and “measured” nature of the UN report is all part of the “democracy” racket too, pretending this is all shocking and unexpected and out-of-the-ordinary, and not the constant reality of world capitalist rule throughout its entire existence (as examples from, say, the anti-MauMau war in Kenya or the suppression of the Arab struggle in Aden, or the napalming of the Greek communist partisans, or beheadings of Malaysian “rebels” or the near psychotic depravities of the Selous Scouts in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), or the Nicaraguan contras, all show).

Talk of “proper supervision” for the security services is complete gibberish – the question is what is the uncontrolled secret class dictatorship instrument in existence for in the first place???

Just as the assorted varieties of fake-”leftism” cannot “wake-up” to the disastrous economic catastrophe unfolding, because that would mean recognising the revolutionary nature of what is happening to the world, so they constantly fail to see or warn the working class about the vicious reality of capitalism.

Respect, the SWP, the CPGB, the Greens, assorted revisionist “Communist” parties, TUC “firebrands” and the whole assortment of pretend “revolutionaries” still dance around hysterically pointing to the BNP and ELP as “the threat of fascism” to be “stopped at any cost”.

But the real fascism, that perpetrated daily by those actually in power, right now, is completely ignored.

The mystical and ignorant backwardness of the “white supremacist” racist, German-Nazi-loving racist groups of all shades stinks to high heaven of course, and panders to the worst inter-group antagonisms and dog-eat-dog competitive hatreds constantly engendered by the very nature of capitalist society.

It remains a backstop for the capitalist state to use here and there for thuggish intimidation and petty national-supremacist confusion of any organised working class movements and particularly of communism and internationalist resistance.

It is a serious enough problem being given some deliberate boosting by the establishment and the anti-communist media machine.

But its past “form”, in actually running capitalism in the twentieth century, is one of fronting disastrous warmongering and horror, which stimulated a massive revolutionary struggle which brought the capitalist world to the edge of disintegration in just 12 short years.

It is hardly a recommendation for a re-run.

And that was when the freshly created theatricality of jackboots and “New Order” was fronting for the unfulfilled vigour of the rising industrial powers of first Italy and then Germany, competitive capitalist nations powers artificially hampered by the constraint of the older colonialist world powers like Britain and France, and the dominant new kid, the USA, and capable of mounting major aggressive challenges.

Even in the unlikely event of the BNP sweeping the board (with covert establishment backing, exactly as Hitler was given by the German ruling class, business and military circles) it is impossible to conceive of some great new British stormtrooper order sweeping the world.

Just the opposite – the best it can do is drag along behind the world’s dominant power in the US which is now forced to play the lead Nazi role itself to try and maintain its fading power by “shocking and awe-ing” the rising tide of resistance around the planet, which is unstoppably rising.

The warmongering blitzing to suppress it is as “fascist” as anything the German Nazis ever managed whatever precise name is given to it.

It just takes a new form, specific to Anglo-Saxon imperialism and the later stage of the capitalist crisis historically.

But it is not doing well.

The Third World masses are far harder to control nearly a century on from the direct colonialist period of the early twentieth century and impatient at the prospect of further endless tyrannical exploitation which alone has fed the fabulous sweet luxury life for the tiny minority ruling class and the few crumbs it lets fall to its middle class hangers-on (lawyers, engineers, media types, etc and the great panoply of non-job (servant) dependencies which service the consumerist society).

Their rising rebellion, however crudely, inadequately and bizarrely expressed in religious, puritanical or other ideologies, is finding form in various “insurgencies”, outbreaks of ‘terrorism’ (as the West labels all resistance it does not like) and upheavals which are proving increasing unstoppable, and spreading exponentially particularly as the West tries to put them down, teaching yet more lessons in the insufferability of capitalist oppression.

Increasingly riots, strikes, demonstrations and “anarchist” and other street protest are joining in too, and about to escalate rapidly as Paris, Athens, and other areas of the Western heartlands are beginning to discover.

It is the “politically correct” oh-so-liberally approved, Obama presidency (the living apotheosis of single-issue anti-racism and feminist politics which the fake-”left” has constantly used to divert attention from revolution) which is blitzing Afghanistan on a scale beyond anything the neo-con Bushites and their Texas “gunslinging” attitudes got underway.

It is “nice” handsome Barack Obama and the allegedly “dour-but-dependable” Gordon Brown who stand at the podium mouthing dire threats of economic strangulation against new victims like Iran, simply because it wishes to join the modern world in nuclear power technology; the same leadership feeds funds to Pakistan’s military blitzing and torture of mountain poverty rebellions and to the Zionist monstrosity which is choking one and a half million people to genocidal oblivion in Gaza and routinely strafing, bombing, terrorising and massacring the Palestinian people there while relentlessly stealing more and more of remaining Palestinian land on the West Bank.

And all this is going to relentlessly degenerate into far worse chaos and conflict because the capitalist system itself has reached the end of the road historically and just as it has always done in the modern period, can only turn to destruction and war to distract attention from its abject systemic failure.

The way out is revolution: with a Leninist party built to develop the crucial leadership. It needs doing now.

Don Hoskins

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LEAFLET (issued London 3rd February): Failure of fake-“left” swamp to make the revolutionary crisis of capitalism the heart of all understanding (despite labelling themselves as revolutionaries) leaves them falling for every capitalist stunt in the book including the “mass movement” disruption in Iran, part of US imperialist warmongering. But the Nazi war drive of capitalism led now by the Obama “black liberal” presidency just like Bush, is completely linked to the disastrous collapse of the profit system, which can only get worse. Leninist politics and party need to be built

The wretched and damaging role that fake-“left” opportunism plays in helping and aiding imperialism is no more apparent than over the West’s constant demonisation of Iran and the incessant US bullying which has made it the number one candidate for further blitzkrieg after Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine.

A total failure to see all the unfolding world events as part of a giant revolutionary crisis of the entire Western monopoly capitalist system, driven by the catastrophic (and still continuing) failure of its economic order, means that all flavours of Trotskyite anti-communism and revisionist muddleheadedness effectively help the current US aggression against Tehran.

None of them link the economic disasters with the decade-long war drive of US imperialism to escape Depression disaster – most do not really grasp the scale of capitalism’s failure at all and believe “they will get out of it somehow”.

Worse, most of them capitulate completely to the capitalist “war on terror” nonsense, just as they did in “condemning” the Third World rebellion when it carried out the WTO 9/11 attacks, lining up totally with Washington and effectively helping it launch the subsequent onslaughts on Iraq and Afghanistan (as well as constant proxy Zionist blitzing and genocidal atrocities against the Palestinians and southern Lebanon), all justified as “against terrorism”.

That applies as much to those who give any credence at all to the Western provoked and stimulated petty bourgeois demonstrations in Iran, stamped heavily with the hallmarks of CIA and other Western intelligence “mass movement” operations (made routinely across the former Soviet Union orbit from “Orange” Ukraine to “Rose” Georgia), and fed with non-stop BBC and Voice of America propagandising, as it does to the outright hostility of the anti-Tehran movements like the “Hands off the People of Iran” campaign, run by the biliously anti-Soviet crypto-Trotskyists in the misnamed CPGB.

The fake-“left” posturing of HOPI around “human rights” and “trade union rights” in Iran is almost indistinguishable from the “rank and file” crassness of the Trotskyists’ support for numerous fraudulent “trade union“ and “political revolution struggles” in Eastern Europe, used by US imperialism to undermine the workers states (tragically aided by their own Stalin-inspired revisionist opportunism which capitulated entirely to notions of “market superiority” and liquidated their workers state forces).

All these “popular” struggles from Hungary and Czechoslovakia to Poland and “the fall of the Berlin Wall”, were clear counter-revolutionary stunts against the authority of the workers states (as Marxism-Leninism understood from the beginning) and long since have shown their true colours as out-and-out fascist reactionaries and Nazi sympathisers from Lech Walesa to the various gangs running capitalist Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland now.

Declaring, as the “Stop the War” Coalition does, that these demonstrations and middle-class movements are a matter for the “Iranians to sort out themselves” is a hopeless position only notionally different from the aggressive HOPI line.

The movements being provoked in Iran serve similar counter-revolutionary purposes, to disrupt and sabotage the Iranian regime for the benefit only of the West and should be exposed as such along with all the petty bourgeois “lefts” which support them.

That has nothing to do with supporting the more backward aspects of fundamentalism, the mullahs and the anti-communist hostilities of the bourgeois nationalist government, or implying in any way to the working class that the Ahmadinejad regime is going to solve the world’s problems either (or any other non-Marxist leaderships, which fill the militancy vacuum temporarily vacated by revisionist “communism”).

The apparently “hard nut” line of the museum-Stalinist wing of revisionism from the Lalkar/Proletarian which declares Tehran’s “determination in the face of provocation stands as an example for all independent nations resisting imperialist domination” is as misleading as anything else.

To escape their own history in the “peaceful road” mire of past Stalinist confusion, but without ever honestly analysing it and their own multiple mistakes, the Lalkarites swing bizarrely to an extreme position of complete uncritical support for assorted insurgencies of the world.

But while these are causing US imperialism numerous difficulties, –reflecting the unwillingness of the world’s masses to any longer put up with the relentless exploitation and tyrannical oppression imposed on them for centuries to feed the insatiable hunger of the Western (and particularly the dominant US) ruling class for super-profits at any human cost, – they are not yet Marxist revolution.

It is confusing the world to support movements which have a mystical and even at times, reactionary ideology.

Only socialist revolution and the establishment of a dictatorship of the proletariat to build a planned and organised economy worldwide, will be a solution to Iran’s problems, just as it is the only solution anywhere else.

It needs to be stated clearly, not evaded in favour of uncritical support for local regimes.

But Leninism is 100% in favour of seeing imperialist skulduggery, occupation and bullying come a cropper.

It is a question of context and timing only.

Now is not the right moment to provoke major internal battles against the limited anti-imperialism of the Tehran regime.

It is a time to call for the defeat of imperialism and its war plans.

It does not matter who that is done by.

Imperialism is the sole source and cause of all the problems and disasters facing mankind effectively, and the crisis and warmongering will deepen relentlessly until it is finally overturned and its class rule thoroughly destroyed, and any revivals or remnants (which will repeatedly and dangerously grow again) thoroughly suppressed by the dictatorship of the majority (the working class and proletariat predominantly, in most countries of the modern world).

Iran is being lined up as the next victim for the war path which US imperialism has embarked upon as the only solution it has got to the disastrous failure of the entire monopoly capitalist order, which is now heading unstoppably down the chute into complete Slump chaos and disaster, and the inevitable end point of total world war as the giant capitalist rivals fight for what remains of the world markets.

Destruction and devastation is built into the system as the only way out of its insane “overproduction” crisis, and the ever more insane wiping-out of the “surplus” to restore some kind of demand again.

Washington long ago understood that its best prospect of survival was to ride out this war crisis as top dog, forcing the destruction and slump burdens onto everyone else as much as possible, by making clear its utter ruthlessness and fascist willingness to take on all challengers.

And it embarked on a path of “shock and awe” demonstrations, picking victims almost at random, though clearly those most easily propagandised against were the most suitable, from once-communist Yugoslavia, (set up by a ten year long Western provoked civil war and campaign of “atrocity” lies, like Srebrenica and Racek) to “terrorist harbouring” Afghanistan and “WMD threatening” Iraq and the unsavoury Saddam Hussein (who though he was a Western creation, had incurred displeasure by turning on Washington).

The only serious question to be asking about Iran at the current stage is whether US imperialism believes it has the strength and nerve to further extend its blitzkrieging path towards World War Three, or will baulk at the size and difficulty of taking on such a large and powerful country.

There is no question that Iran is outgunned and out-economied by the enormous power and might of American imperialism and its stooge “allies” among the other large powers.

But Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan have all proved hard mouthfuls for US blitzing to digest. And hostility is spreading, accelerated by the lessons the world is getting in the real fascist face of imperialism (including the bogus Obama “black is beautiful” presidency).

Iran is even more difficult, which is why internal subversion has been added to the mixture. Far from support, it should be exposed.

The fake-“left” criticism of the rougher edges of Tehran has nothing to do with a defeatist understanding (i.e. defeat of imperialism), but simply panders to the illusions of “democracy” as used by capitalism, and plays completely into the hands of Western warmongering.

The time has come to fight for revolutionary clarity and build a Leninist movement, the only way to end Slump and War disaster which capitalism is bringing. Don Hoskins


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EPSR Archives

(Selected quotes from past issues).


[Part of leaflet above- ed]

By its essential predatory and anarchic nature, capitalism has always been a world rule system of regularly recurring crises.

The key to its long reign, in spite of a succession of utterly horrific war-crisis catastrophes and degeneracy inflicted on mankind (World Wars I & II, Algeria, Korea, Vietnam, the Zionist colonisation of Palestine, etc, etc, etc), has been the crucial role of the fake-‘left’; for generation after generation and in 57 ever-changing varieties of Labourism, Revisionism, and Trotskyism.

Perpetually, the opportunist philistinism of this fake-‘left’ has endlessly found ‘reasons’ for playing down or dropping the revolutionary process ESSENCE of Marxism while yet pretending to be ‘Marxists’ or advocates of “a complete socialist solution”, etc.

Time after time in modern world history, this refusal to constantly stress the inescapable REVOLUTIONARY PROCESS, ultimately at the heart of all serious anti-imperialist struggle and real socialist development, has meant that the need and opportunity for workers to try to take the power, - often the ONLY thing worth attempting in spite of not all the circumstances being favourable, - has been lost or deliberately neglected, again and again, frequently with catastrophic consequences as in Indonesia in the 1960s and Chile in the 1970s.

These were not just tragic cases of mistiming of a revolutionary push by the working class.

These tragedies were the result of the historical triumph for an entire period of the fake-‘left’, pretending “socialist revolution” in words, but in practice never doing anything but play the bourgeoisie’s joke “reformist” game of parliamentary democracy and endless protests about this, that, and the other.

In reality, basically, - the whole Marxist science of the revolutionary process was deliberately dismissed further and further into the background.

To help it on its way, the entire nonsense of “the peaceful road to socialism” was substituted in its place.

A total fraud on whole generations of the international working class was covered up with this one tiny and utterly meaningless phrase.

And this is exactly the situation today, - with EVERY ‘left’ group without exception among the 57 varieties of prominent reformist, Trot, and Revisionist groupings, - ALL still mouthing their “complete socialism” credentials, but ALL still refusing to make the scientific inevitability of the revolutionary process not merely the major plank of all socialist propaganda, but still refusing to make revolution (as the final necessary step towards socialism) ANY PART OF THEIR PROPAGANDA AT ALL.

This fake-‘left’ essentially petty-bourgeois (i.e. trade unionist) opportunism hides behind cynical philistinism of the ‘We’ll be there when the revolution begins” kind, which deliberately leaves the working class totally disarmed and uninformed, as they were in Chile; or else reveals its true anti-communist class essence by falling back on the West’s old anti-Soviet myths of “no thanks to any more of the gulag, mass-murder, and bankrupt economic development”, etc, etc.

What ALL of the fake-‘left’ refuse to do is actively and repeatedly take on the ludicrous Western mythology about the 70 years of the triumphant Soviet workers-state development and its honourable international contributions to anti-imperialist struggle, or strive to elaborate any consistent complete theory of Soviet achievements and their Revisionist handicap (and finally liquidation), - fitting it all into a consistent perspective of imperialist REVOLUTIONARY crisis as being the ultimately decisive situation on earth, resolving by the further completion of the world socialist revolution all of the still unsatisfactory difficulties and problems of the first 70 years history of workers-state building on earth (marred by bureaucratic Revisionism).

But until this perspective is grasped, all ‘socialist’ striving is either meaningless or a deliberate ‘reformist’ reactionary diversion; and all anti-imperialist struggle will be so incomplete, and defective of understanding, that the present outcome (with the fake-’left’ making solidarity with Western imperialism to “condemn” Islamic guerilla-war assaults on the USA and its Zionist stooges) will inevitably continue to utterly mislead the working class.

All the time, the fake-’left’ diversionaries pretend to report sympathetically Palestinian suffering, or Iraqi fears of renewed imperialist blitzkrieg, or the torments of the Argentine people e.g. (devastated first by the growing ‘free-market’ economic catastrophe) but do NOT explain the overall REVOLUTIONARY crisis of the imperialist system (without which conscious understanding in a workers party of leadership, there will NEVER be a successful outcome for ‘socialism’),-- the bourgeois-imperialist system is actually being HELPED because the reformist and protest approaches, inherent in such treatment, get a prolonged lease of life, (the ONLY consequence ever of all “democratic opposition” throughout capitalism’s history).


[from EPSR 1140 18-06-02]



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